The Ringwraiths From The Lord Of The Rings Explained

Ringwraiths, Lord of the Rings

Middle-earth has its fair share of heroes and villains. Epic warriors like Gandalf, Aragorn, and Éowyn regularly take on a host of baddies that include characters like Saruman, Shelob, and of course, the Nazgûl. The Black Riders are among Tolkien's most fearsome antagonists. And yet, for all of the dread and terror — and ear-splitting shrieking — very little is actually revealed about who the Ringwraiths are. Sure, they're there from day one, hunting the One Ring and flying all over tarnation on their creepy hell-hawks. At the end of the day, though, the Black Riders often feel like little more than plot devices.

Of course, J.R.R. Tolkien was hardly known for creating things purely for the sake of moving a story forward. He developed a background for every single character he invented, including the nine mortal men, doomed to die. So we decided to dig into the background of these mysterious cloaked riders to figure out where they came from, how they operate, and what they were up to before they got tangled up in all of the Lord of the Rings stuff. Here are our disturbing findings, presented for your spine-chilling entertainment.

The Ringwraiths go by many names

The first thing that's worth addressing here is what, exactly, we call these guys. Sauron's most dreadful servants go by several different names as they pop in and out of the story, including, among other things, the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths, the Black Riders, the Nine, the Fell Riders, the Úlairi, and the Nine Servants. One orc in The Return of the King even refers to them as "filthy Shriekers."

But while the group possesses a slew of appellations, the individual Ringwraiths themselves have always suffered from a severe shortage of individuality. The leader of the bunch is commonly referred to by a few different titles. The Lord of Morgul, Lord of the Nazgûl, and the Witch-king are common, even if they're still just titles. The only Nazgûl to ever be directly named in Tolkien's writings is Khamûl . The index to Unfinished Tales succinctly describes Khamûl as "second to the Chief," "Shadow of the East," and "the Black Easterling," giving a tiny sliver of personality to at least one of these villainous fellas.

The Ringwraiths are crotchety, invisible old men

The Ringwraiths are old — really, really old. In fact, by the time of The Lord of the Rings , these mortal men are probably pushing 5,000 years of age. Their inception likely dates back to roughly halfway through the Second Age , right after Sauron creates the One Ring to rule them all. Each of the Nazgûl receives a Ring of Power around this time (more on that in a bit), which unnaturally extends their lives. Think Gollum's centuries-long transformation  from a hobbit-looking creature into a pale, perverted distortion of his former self.

Along with taking the concept of the elderly to a new level, the Ringwraiths also slowly become invisible over the millennia. In The Fellowship of the Ring , Gandalf explains to Frodo why this happens, saying that "a mortal ... who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness." The Grey Wizard adds that "if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he  ...  becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in the twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings." The Nazgûl are the perfect example of this phenomenon, living artificially elongated lives as beings that have, by and large, faded from physical existence.

They're spiritual in nature

Their faded existence means the Ringwraiths don't take up much physical space in the real world. Sure, they can wear clothes, wield weapons, and ride horses, but their primary existence is spiritual in nature. In essence, they dwell in an "unseen" shadow realm through which they dimly interact with the "seen" world. This leads to some of the paranormal phenomena that take place when others come into contact with them.

For instance, when Frodo puts on the Ring, he too enters that spiritual dimension and is able to see the Ringwraiths in all of their otherworldly horror. When Merry and Êowyn stab the Witch-king in battle, both of their arms immediately go numb. Their weapons also disintegrate, with Merry's burning like a piece of wood and Éowyn's breaking into splinters. In the book The Fellowship of the Ring , it's even implied that characters like Gandalf, Aragorn, and Glorfindel are uniquely suited to resist the Riders. This isn't because they hurl flaming brands through the air, Viggo Mortensen-style, but rather because of their stamina and effectiveness in the spiritual realm — a realm that the Ringwraiths are very familiar with.

As a quick footnote, while physical fire does appear to have some effect on the Ringwraiths, it's really water that they seem to abhor. In Unfinished Tales , Tolkien's son, Christopher, says the fear was never really explained, but a healthy respect for that good ol' H2O can certainly be seen as they chase Frodo and company across rivers and through floods.

The Ringwraiths wield powerful weapons

With one foot in the physical world and one on "the other side," the Ringwraiths end up using a smorgasbord of different weapons to get the dirty work done. Some of these are pretty simple — although still terrifying — such as their swords or the Witch-king's giant black mace. But their arsenal boasts much creepier tools than that.

In The Return of the King, the Nazgûl leader uses a "black dart" to kill Théoden's horse, and Aragorn later mysteriously half-explains that their darts kill much faster than the average arrow. And then there's the Morgul-knife that the Witch-king uses to stab Frodo on Weathertop. A notch of the cursed blade embeds itself into the hobbit's shoulder while the rest of the weapon disintegrates. The splinter then begins to worm its way towards Frodo's heart, only being stopped by the timely intervention of Elrond's healing arts. If it had struck home, though, it would've made the hobbit a wraith under their command.

The Ringwraiths also have otherworldly weapons

As bad as the Nazgûls' physical weapons are, they're just trifles compared to the group's unearthly ammunition. While these remain largely mysterious and unexplained throughout Tolkien's writings, the troop wields some mind-melting preternatural weapons that they regularly employ.

For example, there's the simple yet powerfully effective fear factor, a battlefield tactic that would make Joe Rogan proud. The Ringwraiths wield terrifying fear, upsetting people's emotions even from a great distance. In The Return of the King , during the siege of Gondor, it explains that as the riders fly high over Minas Tirith, shrieking and terrifying all below, to their enemies "a blackness came, and they thought no more of war, but only of hiding and of crawling, and of death."

The other, even worse supernatural weapons is the Black Breath . In The Fellowship of the Ring book, Merry first encounters this phenomenon during his visit to Bree when he runs into a Nazgûl and passes out from the overwhelming experience. In The Return of the King , the Black Breath is also connected to the strange sickness called the Black Shadow where victims "fell slowly into an ever deeper dream, and then passed to silence and a deadly cold, and so died." These are some fearsome weapons — perfect for Sauron's chief servants.

The Nazgûls' origins

There's no doubt that the Ringwraiths are absolutely terrifying opponents by the end of the Third Age . The question is, how did they get to the point where they're riding and flying around Middle-earth in black cloaks or leading massive armies into battle? The answer begins way back in the middle of the Second Age.

At this time, Sauron forges the One Ring, captures many of the Rings of Power, and distributes nine of them to "mortal men doomed to die." He chooses so many men because they tend to be easier servants to ensnare than dwarves or elves. While he never explains who all of the nine riders are or where each one comes from, in The Silmarillion , Tolkien reveals that of the Nine, "three were great lords of Númenórean race." That's the same nation that Aragorn's ancestors originally ruled. Khamûl is also mentioned as an Easterling.

After they're given rings, the book also states that the nine initially "became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old." In these early days of their Ringwraith careers, they're bathed in glory and become incredibly rich. However, as time begins to creep by, the long-term effects of owning a Ring of Power begin to show up.

The Nine and their rings

In The Silmarillion , we get a sweet and condensed account of the transformation of the Ringwraiths from super-powered human champions to ghoulish servants of Sauron — and it's not pretty. It points out that, sure, they have unending life, but life itself becomes unendurable for them. They can turn invisible with their rings, which seems pretty cool, but they're never hidden from their master.

It takes time for all nine men to slowly slip into creepy Nazgûl thralldom, with each one doing so "sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning." During this slip into evil, Sauron appears to poke fun at his new captives/servants. One of their unique ring-bearing skills is that the Ringwraiths can see things "in worlds invisible to mortal men." However, it also explains that often what they see is simply "the phantoms and delusions of Sauron." Eventually, they all cave under the pressure, becoming the dreadful Úlairi in the process.

In other words, while we're all used to a conclave of terrifying villains that we just want to see wiped off the face of Middle-earth, the truth is, each of the Black Riders actually starts out as a pretty normal dude. They're lords and leaders who are slowly and tortuously perverted into a state of half-death in which their pure function is to do as the Dark Lord bids them. It's a tragic start to some of Tolkien's vilest creatures.

The Ringwraiths' vague early history

In The Return of the King , it says that the Nazgûl first appear in the larger limelight at some point around the year 2251 of the Second Age. This is roughly 600 years after the One Ring is forged. Very little of their specific activities are mentioned during this part of their history, but the Ringwraiths likely spend the next millennium helping Sauron conquer most of Middle-earth.

Eventually, their great master tussles with the Númenóreans, which leads to the establishment of the new nations of Arnor and Gondor — yes, that Gondor. From there, the action picks up again, ending in the War of the Last Alliance (the events depicted in the opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring movie), in which Sauron loses the One Ring and his power is temporarily vanquished.

Alright, you still with us? It's a lot to cover, but the basic takeaway from their early history is that the Nazgûl initially ride the wave to ultimate power with their master. Then Sauron goes up against the Númenóreans, loses his Ring, and is crushed just as the Third Age begins. Throughout all of the action, the Ringwraiths are definitely involved, but they don't show up much in the actual story.

The Third Age begins

After his defeat at the end of the Second Age, Sauron is unable to take on a bodily form for a long time. This leads to a natural lull in evil activity, and as the Third Age kicks off, the Nazgûl initially fade into the shadows and hunker down for a bit. Over time, the shapeless Sauron once again begins to stir, using his most fearful servants — who still remain bound to his will, even without his Ring — as his prime movers and shakers. Even so, it takes some time to get the momentum going again. Roughly a thousand years into the age, things finally begin to pick up, and yes, we're jumping in big time-chunks here, but that's kind of what happens when you're dealing with artificially immortal beings.

At the thousand year mark, the wizards first arrive in Middle-earth with the express task of resisting the resurgent Sauron. The Dark Lord himself secretly reappears on the scene around this time, too, setting up the stronghold of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood. The Ringwraiths are most certainly around at this point, and the Dark Lord himself is even suspected of being one of them at this early stage in his second bid for power. However, they don't openly get involved in the action until a little bit later.

The kingdom of Angmar

A few hundred years after Sauron's initial reappearance, the Nazgûl officially re-enter the story. Shortly after they're revealed, the Witch-king sets up the kingdom of Angmar in the northern part of Middle-earth. Then, while his master makes long-term plans and slowly rebuilds his strength, the leader of the Ringwraiths starts a centuries-long war with the local men and elves that inhabit the area. This includes big-shot names like the elves living in Rivendell, the men living in Gondor's sister kingdom of Arnor, and eventually, even the hobbits in the Shire.

The war starts in the year 1409 of the Third Age and lasts for well over 500 years. During this time, Arnor is destroyed, and the hobbits famously lose a troop of archers that they send to help in the fighting. Eventually, though, Gondor sends help, and the Witch-king is defeated — temporarily, at least.

However, just six short years later, the leader of the Ringwraiths pops up in the then-uninhabited waste of Mordor and gathers his eight other ghoulish brethren to him. Then, 20 years later, they attack the Gondorian city of Minas Ithil (the counterpart to Minas Tirith) and capture it. This is the same city that sends up the lightning rod beacon as Frodo, Sam, and Gollum begin to climb towards Shelob's lair. They also capture one of the seeing stones, which explains how Sauron shows up to talk to Saruman, Denethor, Aragorn, and Pippin when they look in other stones down the road.

Prepping Mordor

At this point, the Witch-king have destroyed the kingdom of Arnor — a situation that creates the homeless Rangers that Aragorn rules, we might add — and the Nazgûl have recaptured Mordor for their master. They also own a powerful, fortified city that's practically a stone's throw from the capital of Gondor. They proceed to spend the last millennia before the War of the Ring preparing Mordor for their master. They also slowly chip away at the strength of his enemies, especially Gondor, where they kill the king by luring him into single combat, leaving the stewards to rule the kingdom until another king should return.

Time slowly crawls on until, during the events of The Hobbit , the White Council attacks Dol Guldur and drives Sauron out of his stronghold. However, the Dark Lord only pretends to run away, instead happily heading to Mordor, where his servants have literally spent a thousand years preparing for the biggest welcome home party you've ever seen.

The lead-up to the War of the Ring

After Sauron's return to Mordor, three of the Ringwraiths are sent back to Dol Guldur to mind the shop while their master is away. In Unfinished Tales , it explains that Khamûl is among those tasked with watching the stronghold in Mirkwood.

At a certain point, a messenger from Mordor also arrives at the Lonely Mountain. In The Fellowship of the Ring , Glóin describes him as "a horseman in the night" whose "breath came like the hiss of snakes" — an obvious sign of the Nazgûl. The deadly messenger is sent to the dwarves, offering Rings of Power and asking for news of hobbits and a small ring, a "trifle" that his master fancies, which, sure it is. The dwarves refuse to listen, but the messenger returns more than once, trying to win them over to the Dark Lord's side.

As Sauron picks up on the unfolding situation, he finally decides that if he's going to get the One Ring back, the time has come to play his trump card. He unleashes the Nine Riders in the so-called Hunt for the Ring, an event that neatly coincides with the beginning of the Lord of the Rings story . Interestingly, in The Fellowship of the Ring , one of the Ringwraiths arrives at Bag End just after Frodo and his companions have left. In Unfinished Tales , it's revealed that the Ringwraith is none other than Khamûl himself.

The Ringwraiths and the War of the Ring

The Ringwraiths play a huge role throughout the War of the Ring. Their leader stabs Frodo at Weathertop, and they nearly recapture the One Ring before it gets to Rivendell. They reappear a bit later, flying huge beasts and acting as messengers and generals for Sauron. In the siege of Gondor, they cause terrific destruction before the Witch-king is killed in battle by Éowyn and Merry.

As the armies of the West assault the Black Gate of Mordor, the eight remaining Ringwraiths gather, probably led by Khamûl at this point. They're given one final task when Sauron orders them to hurtle towards Mount Doom to stop Frodo from destroying the One Ring. However, they arrive too late. In The Return of the King , their final moments are described in fiery detail. "The Nazgûl came, shooting like flaming bolts, as caught in the fiery ruin of hill and sky they crackled, withered, and went out," which brings a sudden and long-deserved end to Sauron's greatest servants.

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The Nazgûl Before The Lord of the Rings, Explained

The Nazgûl were some of the most important characters in The Lord of the Rings, but who were they before they fell to Sauron's corruption?

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The two most important nazgûl had fearsome titles, the other nazgûl were shrouded in mystery, middle-earth adaptations created new nazgûl.

  • The Nazgûl were nine Men given Rings of Power by Sauron.
  • Despite their importance to the story, Tolkien did not provide much information about the Nazgûl.
  • Tolkien outright stated the identities of two Nazgûl and gave some scant details about the others.

The Nazgûl , or Ringwraiths in the Common Speech, were some of the most memorable antagonists in The Lord of the Rings . As explained in both J. R. R. Tolkien 's novel and Peter Jackson 's film adaptations, Sauron gave nine magical rings to the race of Men. These Rings of Power corrupted their wearers , thus bending them to Sauron's will and transforming them into invisible, undead monsters. Despite their importance in the story, neither the novel nor the films offered much information about who the Nazgûl used to be.

In Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring , Aragorn said that the Nazgûl were "Kings of Men" before Sauron's rings corrupted them . However, this was not the case in the novel. They must have been somewhat important figures for Sauron to notice them and deem them worthy minions, but Tolkien never specified that they were kings. In the section "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" from The Silmarillion , Tolkien explained that some of the future Nazgûl became kings after receiving their Rings of Power, but not all of them: "Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old." So who were these mighty characters?

Eowyn’s Great Victory Wasn’t Against the Nazgul King

The leader of the Nazgûl did not have a name, but he did have a title: the Witch-king of Angmar . The Witch-king was a powerful sorcerer who founded the kingdom of Angmar in northern Middle-earth. Using the power of Sauron's ring, he amassed an evil army and laid waste to Arnor , the land from which Gondor had splintered over a millennium prior. An alliance of Gondorians and Elves eventually managed to turn the tide of battle and defeat Angmar, but the Witch-king retreated to fight another day. It was then that the Elf Glorfindel prophesied no man would kill the Witch-king. During the events of The Lord of the Rings , the Witch-king was one of Sauron's most powerful and loyal servants. He stabbed Frodo with a Morgul blade at Weathertop , nearly transforming him into a wraith, and he killed King Théoden at the Battle of Pelennor Fields . At that same battle, Éowyn fulfilled Glorfindel's prophecy and defeated the Witch-king once and for all.

The only Nazgûl to whom Tolkien gave a real name was Khamûl . Unlike the Witch-king, his name and backstory did not appear in The Lord of the Rings ; rather, readers learned about Khamûl thanks to Unfinished Tales: The Lost Lore of Middle-earth . Khamûl was one of the Easterlings , a civilization from the land of Rhûn . Most of the Easterlings allied with Sauron during the War of the Ring, notably participating in the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Khamûl was the second-in-command of the Nazgûl, and it was he who led the search for Frodo in the Shire . Unlike the Witch-king, Tolkien never explicitly detailed Khamûl's death, but like all the other Nazgûl , he must have met his end fighting at the Battle of the Black Gate or burning in the eruption of Mount Doom after the One Ring's destruction.

The LOTR Movies Could've Given Gandalf a More Epic Encounter Than His Balrog Fight

Tolkien provided scant details about the other seven Nazgûl in The Lord of the Rings . In the chapter "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" from The Return of the King , Tolkien briefly mentioned " Gothmog the lieutenant of Morgul." Jackson's films depicted Gothmog as an Orc , but in the novel, his race was never stated. This, combined with his high position of power and seemingly non-Orcish name, led some Tolkien fans to speculate that he was one of the Nazgûl, but this was only a theory. Tolkien disclosed one more clue about the other Nazgûl in one of his letters; he stated that three Nazgûl, including the Witch-king, were Númenóreans . Númenóreans were the ancient ancestors of Dúnedain like Aragorn, many of whom fell to Sauron's corruption. Between the three Númenórean Nazgûl and one Easterling Nazgûl, that left five of unknown origins.

There were several civilizations of Men that existed at this point in Middle-earth's history, including the Drúedain , Northmen , and Haradrim . Of these, the Haradrim were the most probable candidates to become Nazgûl, as like the Easterlings, they allied with Sauron during the War of the Ring. Tolkien often employed symmetry in his writing, such as dividing Thorin 's company of Dwarves into groups with rhyming names; it would therefore make sense if the Nazgûl consisted of three Númenóreans, three Easterlings, and three Haradrim. This setup would also be tactically advantageous for Sauron; it would give him an even number of Nazgûl from the North, East, and South of Middle-earth to assault his enemies in the West from all directions.

Tolkien Almost Gave Lord of the Rings Fans a Tom Bombadil vs. Nazgûl Fight

Many adaptations of Tolkien's work have filled out the ranks of the Nazgûl, giving names, titles, and backstories to the other seven. For example, the tabletop role-playing game Middle-earth Role Playing listed them as Dendra Dwar, Jí Indûr, Akhôrahil, Hôarmûrath, Adûnaphel, Ren and Ûvatha Achef. This game also gave the Witch-king a name: Er-Mûrazôr. Jackson's film trilogies did not flesh out the Nazgûl to such an extent. However, in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies , the Nazgûl all had unique weapons and armor that implied different cultural backgrounds. Some of them wore helmets resembling those of the Easterlings and Haradrim from Jackson's earlier The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The Middle-earth story that placed the most emphasis on Nazgûl was the 2017 video game Middle-earth: Shadow of War . The crux of this game's plot revolved around a Ranger named Talion hunting down the Nazgûl and struggling with his transformation into a wraith. The game introduced three new Nazgûl: a Haradrim king named Suladân and two Easterling princesses named Riya and Yukka. More controversially among Tolkien fans, it also reimagined two existing The Lord of the Rings characters as Nazgûl. The first was Isildur , the King of Gondor who defeated Sauron at the War of the Last Alliance and claimed the One Ring . According to the game, Sauron resurrected him after his canonical death and forced him into servitude. The second was Helm Hammerhand , the mighty King of Rohan who gave Helm's Deep its name . In the game, Sauron saves him from the battle that sealed his fate in the novel, and he transforms into a bloodthirsty berserker. These different takes on the Nazgûl showed that fans have always hungered for more information about them, a testament to Tolkien's deep and complex worldbuilding.

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is a series of epic fantasy adventure films and television series based on J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The films follow the adventures of humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits and more in Middle Earth.

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9 Facts About Tolkien's Nines


__Nine facts about the Nine Nazgûl: __

  • The Quenya word for Nazgûl is Úlairi.
  • Their leader is known as The Witch-King of Angmar .
  • The only one of the Nazgûl whose name is given by the Tolkien is Khamûl. He was a lord of the Easterlings.
  • The Nazgûl screeches in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies are mixed from his wife and partner Fran Walsh's voice.
  • According to the Silmarillion , not all the Nazgûl were originally kings: "Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing."
  • Characters who suffered the the Black Breath of the Nazgûl include Frodo, Faramir, Eowyn, and Merry; athelas * *counters the effects.
  • Andy Serkis, the actor portraying Gollum in Jackson's films, provided the voice for the Witch-King of Angmar in The Fellowship of the Ring .
  • The Nazgûl ride not only horses, but also huge, featherless, stinky beasts.
  • The Orcs called the Nazgûl "Shriekers".

__Nine facts about the Nine Rings: __

  • There is some controversy about whether or not the Nazgûl actually had possession of the Nine Rings at the time of The Lord of the Rings . However, according to Tolkien, "They would have obeyed . . . any minor command of his that did not interfere with their errand - laid upon them by Sauron, who still through their nine rings (which he held) had primary control of their wills.." - Unfinished Tales
  • Those wearing the nine rings not only became invisible--much like the One Ring's wearer--and were also similarly granted longer life.
  • Many people assume that Sauron crafted the Nine Rings. However, they were made by the Elves. Sauron only takes credit for corrupting the rings (the Nine and Seven) and crafting the One Ring.
  • Unlike the Seven Rings--given to the Dwarves--the Nine were not destroyed, but rather kept by Sauron.
  • The Men who wore the rings were easily corrupted and, after a time, became devoted servants of Sauron. They are also known as the Nazgûl.
  • It is assumed that after the destruction of the One Ring, the Nine were rendered useless.
  • The line about the nine rings is the third in the famed stanza. It reads "Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die".
  • The word Nazgûl, literally translated, is "Ring-wraith".
  • All the Elven rings were made by Celebrimbor , an elf, and the grandson of Fëanor. He was caught and tortured by Sauron, and revealed the locations of all the rings of power save the Three, before dying.

Nine facts about the Nine Members of the Fellowship:

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  • Peregrin "Pippin" Took returned to the Shire and inherited his father's title as Thain of the Shire, head of the Took clan. However, he died in Gondor and was buried together with Merry, alongside Aragorn.
  • Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck was not only considered to be the smartest among the hobbits, but rather literary. Upon the completion of his adventures, he settled down and wrote a series of books, including The Reckoning of Years, Old Words and Names in the Shire , and Herblore of the Shire.
  • Though unexplored in the films, Samwise Gamgee was allowed passage to the Undying Lands, years after Frodo and Gandalf departed. Even though he held the ring for only a short time, he was still considered a ring-bearer.
  • The names Gandalf and Thorin were originally switched in early versions of The Hobbit .
  • Though Legolas lived among the Wood-elves, or Silvan Elves, he was actually one of the Grey Elves, a Sindar. He was also a prince.
  • Gimli was the first--and presumably last--Dwarf to visit the Undying Lands, after the death of Aragorn.
  • Frodo was originally named Bingo Bolger-Baggins.
  • It took Boromir 110 days to reach Rivendell; half of the journey was made without a horse after he lost his crossing the Greyflood river. In Unfinished Tales, Tolkien states that Boromir's "courage and hardihood required is not fully recognized in the narrative".
  • Aragorn is called Longshanks and Strider--and with good reason. According to Tolkien, Aragorn was 6'6".

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Magic: The Gathering’s Lord of the Rings set has nine different Nazgûl cards, one for each Ringwraith

Nine cards for Mortal Men, doomed to die.

Tales of Middle-earth, Magic: The Gathering’s crossover with the world of Lord of the Rings, will feature a unique card for each of the nine Ringwraiths - and you’ll be able to have all nine in your deck at once.

One of JRR Tolkien’s most enduring creations, the Nazgûl - or Ringwraiths - are the nine men corrupted by the Rings of Power forged by Sauron. They are encountered several times during the Lord of the Rings trilogy as they hunt for the Ring-bearer, including at Weathertop where they stab Frodo Baggins before being chased off by Aragorn.

Despite the Ringwraiths being some of Middle-earth’s most iconic villains, only the Nazgûl’s leader, the Witch-king of Angmar, is named in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. (His right-hand man is later named as Khamûl in the Unfinished Tales collection, published after Tolkien’s death, but the others remain nameless.)

While few details exist on the differences between each Nazgûl, Tales of Middle-earth will grant each Ringwraith their own unique Magic: The Gathering card.

lord of the rings wraith king

The cards’ text, abilities, power and toughness will be identical, as well as all having the title Nazgûl. While Magic: The Gathering’s standard deck construction rules typically limit a deck to four copies of any one card with the same name, the Nazgûl cards feature a written exception in their rules text allowing all nine to be included in the same deck.

Each Nazgûl has Deathtouch - causing any damage dealt to destroy a creature. In addition, whenever a Nazgûl enters the battlefield, they will trigger Tales of Middle-earth’s new The Ring Tempts You mechanic, as well as adding a +1/+1 counter to any Wraith creatures (which includes the Nazgûl) when a player is tempted by the Ring.

The cards will differ in their artwork, which portrays the Nazgûl as they are described in Tolkien’s books - with red eyes, a detail absent from the later films. All of the Nazgûl are seen mounted on their horses.

lord of the rings wraith king

As well as appearing as one of the Nazgûl cards, the Witch-king of Angmar features on a separate legendary creature card, mounted on his flying Fell Beast. (If you’re wondering, the Witch-king’s Nazgûl card is the second from the left on the top row, according to senior art director Ovidio Cartagena.)

The Witch-king of Angmar card gains Flying as a keyword and increases the Ringwraith leader’s power to five and toughness to three, compared to the 1/2 values of a standard Nazgûl. The Witch-king can also be granted Indestructible until the end of the turn by discarding a card and tapping the creature.

Whenever the controlling player is dealt combat damage, it forces each opponent to sacrifice a creature that dealt combat damage that turn, before the Ring tempts the player.

The card’s distinct title also means that you could feasibly build a deck with nine Nazgûl and four copies of Witch-king of Angmar, if you’re keen on living out your fantasies as the Dark Lord Sauron.

Tales of Middle-earth will see a pre-release from June 16th to 22nd, ahead of its MTG Arena launch on June 20th and wide release from June 23rd.

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Screen Rant

Lord of the rings: why éowyn was able to kill the witch-king.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Éowyn takes down the Witch-king of Angmar, but there's more to this feat than being a woman.

Éowyn killed the Witch-king of Angmar in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King , but the movie leaves out some important details about how she did it when the Witch-king is more-or-less immune to mortal weapons. Played by Miranda Otto, Éowyn is introduced in The Two Towers as a citizen of Rohan and the niece of King Theoden. With sexism even more popular than facial hair in Middle-earth, the battlefield is deemed no place for a woman, but Éowyn harbors a burning desire to protect her homeland against the oncoming forces of the Great Eye of Mordor, Sauron , rather than taking shelter and waiting idly by. Along with Merry, now separated from the rest of the Fellowship and his Hobbit pals, Éowyn disguises herself and secretly joins the Battle of the Pelennor Fields outside of Minas Tirith.

In one of The Return of the King 's most famous scenes, the Witch-king arrogantly proclaims that no man can kill him, to which Éowyn replies with her iconic " I am no man ! " line and promptly slays him. Jackson's movie plays up Éowyn's femininity as the cause of her victory, but there's much more going on here. Strangely enough, the Witch-king's fatal weakness isn't two X chromosomes. The death of the Witch-king is actually more a team effort between Éowyn and Rohan's resident Fellowship hobbit, Merry . In the third Lord of the Rings film, Éowyn is being held by the Witch-king of Angmar, but is released when her hairy-footed friend sneaks up behind the chief Ringwraith and stabs him in the leg. The blade glows brightly and is then destroyed, as all weapons are when used on the Nazgûl. But an ordinary sword shouldn't bring the Witch-king to his knees. Here's why the Witch-king died in Return of the King after Éowyn followed up on Merry's sneak attack.

Related: Why Frodo Had To Leave Middle-earth At The End Of Lord Of The Rings

Merry's Sword Is Key To The Witch-King's Death

Although altered in the movies, Merry's sword in the books is far from ordinary. The hobbit carries an ancient Barrow-blade that was crafted by men when Middle-earth was locked in war against Sauron's forces at Angbad. The weapon is quite literally designed to be used against dark magic, and was given to Merry by the mysterious mysterious Tom Bombadil, who was notoriously cut from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. When Merry cuts the Witch-king, his blow is " breaking the spell that knit [the Witch-king's] unseen sinews to his will ," which could be interpreted as opening the villain up to Éowyn's finishing strike straight through the hood. Since Merry receives his sword from Aragorn instead of Bombadil in the movie adaptation, its significance is lost. Moreover, the weapon Merry is given in the first film isn't returned after he and Pippin are captured by orcs. The blade he wields during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in Jackson's trilogy is a replacement, but still has the same magical effect, creating somewhat of a plot hole.

The Witch-king's boast that no man can kill him comes from the elf Glorfindel, who foretold " not by the hand of man shall he fall ." However, this line was always more of a symbolic prophecy than literal confirmation that men physically couldn't slay the Witch-king. Éowyn and Merry's victory fulfilled Glorfindel's prediction, but their gender and species weren't the deciding factors in bringing down the Ringwraith, it was a unique alignment of fated circumstances, which as Glorfindel predicted, didn't involve a man.

Some might argue that Merry's role in the Witch-king's demise dilutes the feminist message The Lord of the Rings sends with Éowyn's big moment, but all things considered, the full story makes Éowyn's arc even more powerful. Rather than being able to defeat the Witch-king simply because she's a woman, anyone on the battlefield could have felled the enemy under the right circumstances, but it was Éowyn whose courage and strength held out, making her victory all the more glorious.

How Rings Of Power Builds On Éowyn's Legacy

Deep Tolkien-lore technicalities aside, Éowyn killing the Witch-king was a huge moment for women in the fantasy genre. Fantasy, especially epic high-fantasy like Jackson's trilogy, has been guilty of placing women in the "damsel-in-distress" role for eons, and The Lord of the Rings turned the trope right on its head with this particular slaying. Her character is now one of many women, such as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones , who have found themselves to be more than capable on the battlefield. Éowyn's impact can be felt in subsequent Lord of the Rings projects too, as she clearly inspired some of The Rings of Power 's strongest female characters, including Galadriel.

What Galadriel Did Before Lord Of The Rings

Morfydd Clark's Galadriel is now the one leading the pack through the trials and tribulations of Middle Earth, carrying on Éowyn's legacy of Middle-earth's women leading by example when it comes to facing insurmountable evil. It's doubtful Galadriel's exploits in Rings of Power or Tauriel's introduction to The Hobbit mythos would've been possible without Éowyn first paving the way. It was truly a groundbreaking moment of feminism within the fantasy genre. Éowyn's slaughtering of the Witch-king in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King smashed gender stereotypes and ushered in a new era for female heroes.

More: Lord of the Rings: Why A Silmarillion Movie Wouldn't Work

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MTG Wraith Noble commands Nazgûl in Lord of the Rings

Fear the Witch-king of Angmar.

lord of the rings wraith king

The Wraith creature type in Magic: The Gathering has a new Mythic Rare Mono-Black commander through the Witch-king of Angmar, a Wraith noble with Flying and Indestructible from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth spoilers that were previewed on May 30. 

Known as the Lord of the Nazgûl, the Witch-king of Angmar in Lord of the Rings lore was a powerful Wraith that served Sauron for centuries. The king’s identity was never revealed, as his power provided all the information one needed. WotC tapped into the lore and designed a card fitting for the Lord of the Nazgûl within The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth ( LTR ) set while also providing the Wraith noble with an army of Nazgûl.

Related: All Lord of the Rings spoilers from MTG preview stream

Witch-king of Angmar

Image of Witch-king of Angmar through MTG LTR card

Showcasing immense power and fear, the five-drop Mono-Black Wraith noble is a Mythic Rare 5/3 with Flying, Indestructible, and the ability to force players to sacrifice their own creatures. 

  • Mana cost : 3BB
  • Type : Legendary Creature—Wraith Noble
  • Rarity : Mythic Rare
  • Stats : 5/3
  • Keyword : Flying
  • First ability : Whenever one or more creatures deal combat damage to you, each opponent sacrifices a creature that dealt damage to you this turn. The Ring tempts you. 
  • Second ability : Discard a card—Witch-king of Angmar gains Indestructible until the end of the turn. Tap it. 

Likely a bomb within the LTR Limited format, Witch-king of Angmar may impact the Commander format as well. The legendary Wraith instills fear within opponents who dare to attack, knowing one of their creatures will get sacrificed. It also has Flying with a power of five and can prevent blockers from taking it out by simply discarding a card and making the Witch-king of Angmar Indestructible for that turn. 

The Witch-king of Angmar also synergizes with the Nazgûl in LTR , just as it should according to Lord of the Rings lore. 


lord of the rings wraith king

There are nine art versions of Nazgûl within the LTR set. The Wraith knight is a three-drop Uncommon with Deathtouch. Players may have up to nine cards named Nazgûl within an MTG deck. 

  • Mana cost : 2B
  • Type : Creature—Wraith Knight
  • Rarity : Uncommon
  • ETB ability : When Nazgûl enters the battlefield, the Ring tempts you.
  • Ability : Whenever the Ring tempts you, put a +1/+1 counter on each Wraith you control.
  • Unique ability : A deck may have up to nine cards named Nazgûl.

Pairing Nazgûl with Witch-king of Angmar is a scary strategy for your opponents. They won’t want to attack out of fear of losing creatures, and they won’t want to block a bunch of buffed +1/+1 counter Deathtouch knights. The only downside to Nazgûl is their casting cost. 

Players can test out Witch-king of Angmar and Nazgûl through the digital release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth on June 20.

lord of the rings wraith king

Costume Realm

Best Halloween Costume Ideas in 2024

Nazgul Costume Guide

Halloween beckons, a time when fantasy and reality blur into an evening of mystical fun. For enthusiasts of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary saga, "The Lord of the Rings," the shadowy and enigmatic Nazgul present a unique and spine-chilling costume choice. Known also as Ringwraiths, Úlairi, Black Riders, or The Nine, these characters are the epitome of haunting elegance and dark allure. Their iconic appearance, marked by flowing black robes and an aura of menace, offers an opportunity to make a truly memorable impression this Halloween.

Essential Items for Your Nazgul Costume


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You will need the following items for your Nazgul Halloween costume:

  • Black Cosplay Robe
  • Witch King Nazgul Helmet
  • Ringwraith Sword
  • Nazgul Gauntlets Steel Armor Gloves

The Lord of the Rings Costume Ideas


How To Dress Like The Nazgul

Nazgul Halloween Costume

Embodying a Nazgul from "The Lord of the Rings" for Halloween requires a keen eye for detail and a passion for the shadowy depths of Tolkien's Middle Earth. This five-step guide will walk you through crafting an authentic Nazgul costume, ensuring you strike fear and awe into the hearts of fellow party-goers.

Step 1: The Black Robe

Start with the centerpiece – a long, flowing black robe. The robe should be made of a fabric that captures the ethereal, ghostly quality of the Nazgul, ideally with a silky, shimmering finish. Ensure it's sufficiently long to cover your entire body, including hands and feet, to create an air of mystery.

Step 2: Witch King Nazgul Helmet

This iconic helmet is a must-have. Look for a dark, metallic helmet with a skull-like design, embodying the terrifying visage of the Witch King. If the helmet has eye slots, accentuate them with red lighting to mimic the Nazgul's fiery gaze.

Step 3: The Ringwraith Sword

Your Nazgul ensemble isn't complete without this fearsome weapon. Choose a sword with a long, curved blade, resembling the ones carried by the Ringwraiths. A dark, metallic finish will give it an authentic, menacing appearance.

Step 4: Nazgul Gauntlets

Steel armor gloves will add to the costume's imposing presence. These should cover your entire hands and complement the dark, foreboding aesthetic of your robe and helmet.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Add layers to your robe for a more dimensional look, and consider dark, tattered scarves to enhance the wraith-like appearance. Your footwear should be dark and simple, allowing the robe to be the focal point.

Nazgul Cosplay

Nazgul Dress Up

Transforming into a Nazgul is more than just donning a costume; it's about adopting their haunting demeanor. Here's a five-step guide to help you channel the essence of these formidable servants of Sauron at your Halloween gathering.

How to Act Like a Nazgul at a Halloween Party:

Step 1: ominous presence.

Move with purpose and gravity. Nazgul are known for their slow, deliberate movements, exuding an aura of dread and inevitability.

Step 2: Deep, Menacing Voice

When speaking, use a deep, ominous tone. Your words should be few but impactful, delivered with a slow and deliberate cadence to add to the chilling atmosphere.

Step 3: Aura of Mystery

Maintain an air of enigma. The Nazgul are creatures of shadow and secrecy. Be sparing with your words and actions, letting others be drawn into the mystery of your character.

Step 4: Wield Your Sword Sparingly

Your Ringwraith sword is a powerful symbol, but use it judiciously. Display it as a part of your menacing aura, but be mindful of safety and the comfort of others around you.

Step 5: Stay in Character

Consistency is key. Throughout the event, commit to the role of a Nazgul. Keep up your slow, haunting movements, your deep voice, and your air of mystery to ensure a memorable and immersive experience for yourself and others.

About Nazgul

About Nazgul

The Origins of the Nazgul

The Nazgul, central figures in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth lore, were once powerful kings, sorcerers, and warriors of men. Gifted with Rings of Power by Sauron, they gradually fell under his dark sway. Their transformation into spectral entities, the Ringwraiths, is a tale of corruption and loss, as they exchanged their humanity for immortality bound to Sauron's will.

Servants of Sauron

As the Nazgul succumbed to the influence of their rings, they became the most feared servants of Sauron. Clad in black and shrouded in an aura of terror, they were tasked with seeking the One Ring. Their very presence was enough to spread fear and despair, making them formidable foes of the Free Peoples of Middle Earth.

The Witch-King of Angmar

Among the Nazgul, the Witch-King of Angmar, their leader, stands out. His confrontations with key characters, such as Frodo Baggins, and his role in major battles like the Siege of Gondor, highlight his significance. Notably, his fate was sealed not by a man, as foretold in prophecy, but by Éowyn, a brave woman of Rohan.

Symbolism and Impact

The Nazgul are more than just antagonists; they symbolize the seductive and corrupting power of the Rings. Their transition from mortal kings to undying servants of darkness illustrates the central themes of Tolkien's saga: the struggle between good and evil, and the corrupting influence of absolute power.

The Essence of the Nazgul

In embodying a Nazgul for Halloween, you're not merely adopting the guise of a villain. You're stepping into the role of a complex character that represents eternal servitude and the loss of self to greater, darker powers. It's a portrayal that offers depth and an eerie resonance, fitting for the mysterious and haunting atmosphere of Halloween

Read more about the Nazgul on:

The Lord of the Rings Wiki

Who Should Consider the Nazgul Costume Idea

Nazgul Human Form

The Nazgul costume, with its dark allure and menacing presence, is a perfect choice for those who revel in the rich lore of "The Lord of the Rings" and enjoy embodying a character that exudes power and mystery. This costume is particularly suited for enthusiasts who appreciate the art of detailed cosplay and the challenge of bringing a non-human character to life.

Ideal Candidates for the Nazgul Costume

  • "The Lord of the Rings" Aficionados: If you're a fan of Tolkien's world, dressing as a Nazgul allows you to delve deep into this universe.
  • Lovers of Unique and Impactful Costumes: The Nazgul stand out in any setting, making this costume perfect for those who want to leave a lasting impression.
  • Cosplay Challengers: For those who enjoy the intricacies of costume creation and character portrayal, the Nazgul presents a rewarding project.
  • Individuals Comfortable with Concealment: Since the costume covers you entirely, it's ideal for those who prefer anonymity in their cosplay.
  • Acting Enthusiasts: If you enjoy staying in character and adopting the mannerisms of your chosen persona, the Nazgul offers a rich and immersive experience.

Who Should Think Twice About the Nazgul Costume Idea?

Nazgul Death

While the Nazgul costume is undoubtedly compelling, it might not be the right choice for everyone. Its complexity and the level of commitment required to pull it off effectively may not appeal to all.

Who Might Hesitate?

  • Those Uncomfortable with Full Coverage Costumes: If you prefer costumes that are less enclosing or allow more freedom of movement, the Nazgul might be too restrictive.
  • Individuals Who Prefer Less Intimidating Roles: If the idea of portraying a dark, menacing character doesn't appeal to you, you might want to consider a different costume.
  • Those New to Cosplay: If you're a beginner in the world of cosplay, the Nazgul's intricate costume details and character demands might be overwhelming.
  • Party-Goers Preferring More Interaction: The Nazgul's mysterious and silent demeanor may limit interactions at social gatherings.
  • People with Limited Budget or Resources: Creating an authentic Nazgul costume can require significant resources and time, which might not be feasible for everyone.

Additional Tips for Nazgul Costume


To elevate your Nazgul costume to the next level, consider these additional tips:

  • Makeup for a Ghastly Effect: Apply a pale, almost grey foundation to give your skin an undead appearance. Accentuate with dark eyeshadow around the eyes for a more menacing look.
  • Distress the Robe: To make your black robe appear more authentic, consider distressing it. Use sandpaper or a wire brush to create wear and tear, giving the impression of age and battle-worn fabric.
  • Practice Sword Handling: Since the Ringwraith sword is a crucial part of your costume, practice holding and moving with it to ensure a natural, menacing presence.
  • Voice Modulation: Experiment with your voice to find a deep, echoing tone that resonates with the Nazgul's terrifying aura.
  • Moving in Character: Practice moving slowly and deliberately, as if you're perpetually hunting the One Ring. This will add to the overall impact of your portrayal.

Group Costume Ideas Alongside Nazgul

Nazgul Group Costume Ideas

Dressing up as a Nazgul offers fantastic opportunities for group costumes. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Nazgul and Their Steeds: Have friends dress as the eerie, winged beasts that the Nazgul ride in their later appearances.
  • The Armies of Middle-Earth: Create an army scene with friends dressed as the Rohirrim, Elves, Uruk-hai, and other races.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Accompany your Nazgul with friends dressed as members of the Fellowship. This classic ensemble allows for a diverse range of characters, from Frodo , Gimli , Samwise and Gandalf to Aragorn and Legolas .
  • Duel of Good and Evil: Pair up with friends as iconic heroes and villains from the series, like Arwen and the Witch-King, or Eowyn and Sauron.
  • Characters from Specific Scenes: Recreate scenes like the attack at Weathertop or the Siege of Gondor with friends dressed as the relevant characters.

Specific Group Ideas:

  • Nazgul and Sauron: A classic villain duo. While one embodies the Nazgul, another can don the armor of Sauron, creating an intimidating pair.
  • Nazgul and Hobbits: Combine the menace of the Nazgul with the innocence of the Hobbits, such as Frodo, Pippin and Sam, for a contrasting group theme.
  • Wraiths and Wizards: Mix the dark figures of the Nazgul with the wise characters of Gandalf or Saruman, showcasing the diverse elements of Tolkien's world.

Nazgul Costume FAQs

  • Q: How can I make my Nazgul robe look authentic? A: To give your robe an authentic look, choose a fabric with a slight sheen. Aging and distressing the robe by lightly sanding or tearing the edges can also add realism. Focus on the flow and length for that ethereal, menacing appearance.
  • Q: Is it difficult to see through the Nazgul helmet? A: Visibility can be a challenge. Opt for a helmet with ample eye slots or modify it to improve vision while maintaining its intimidating aesthetic.
  • Q: Can I make a Nazgul costume on a budget? A: Absolutely! Use budget-friendly materials like black cloth for the robe and craft foam for the armor and helmet. Get creative with distressing techniques for an authentic look.
  • Q: Are there any safety concerns with the costume? A: The robe's length may pose a tripping hazard, so ensure it's hemmed to a safe length. Also, exercise caution with the prop sword in crowded areas.
  • Q: How should I walk or move as a Nazgul? A: Move slowly and deliberately, with a sense of purpose and menace. Practice gliding movements to mimic the ghostly aura of the Nazgul.
  • Q: Can I speak while in costume, or should I stay silent? A: Nazgul are typically silent, but you can use a deep, ominous whisper if needed. Staying mostly silent can add to the mystique.
  • Q: How do I keep the helmet secure on my head? A: Use adjustable straps or internal padding to keep the helmet in place. Comfort is key, so ensure it's not too tight.
  • Q: How do I make the helmet evem more scary? A: You may consider adding LED lights for a red glow. This can be a fantastic touch. Ensure the lights are securely installed and don't hinder your vision.

Embracing the role of a Nazgul this Halloween is a journey into the heart of Middle-Earth's darkest lore. From crafting the ominous black robe and sinister helmet to mastering the silent, menacing demeanor of these spectral beings, your costume is sure to be a showstopper.

Remember, the key to an impactful Nazgul portrayal lies in the details - the flowing robe, the sword, and the haunting presence you bring to the character. Joining friends in a group costume can elevate the experience, allowing you to create a slice of Tolkien's world right at your Halloween gathering.



2024's Lord Of The Rings Movie Will Change How You See This Tolkien Character

  • "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim" is an exciting animated film that delves into the backstory of Helm Hammerhand, the king of Rohan, bringing him closer to Tolkien's original vision.
  • The film explores a corner of the Lord of the Rings universe that hasn't been touched yet, providing a fresh perspective on an extremely deserving character.
  • Similar to how the original Lord of the Rings movies did for Gondor, "The War of the Rohirrim" will do for Rohan, showcasing the importance of Helm Hammerhand's role as king and his impact on the eventual establishment of Helm's Deep.

A new movie in The Lord of the Rings will be released in 2024, and it will definitely change how you see this Tolkien character. The world of The Lord of the Rings has been fleshed out immensely throughout the history of the multimedia franchise, and the fantasy train is far from stopping. The upcoming film The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is set to give even more backstory to the world of The Lord of the Rings , with it changing how viewers will see this character.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is an immensely exciting new entry in the beloved fantasy franchise, with it being the first feature-length film since the conclusion of The Hobbit prequel trilogy. Unlike its predecessors, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is actually an animated film , with it being set around 250 years before the events of the live-action trilogy. The film will explore a corner of The Lord of the Rings universe that the films haven't touched yet, shining a spotlight on an extremely deserving character.

8 Ways Lord Of The Rings' New Movie Connects To The Main Trilogy

War of the rohirrim will do for rohan what lotr did for gondor.

One of the most exciting parts of The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is that it will do for Rohan what Lord of the Rings did for Gondor. One of the most important arcs in The Lord of the Rings has to do with Aragorn becoming the king of Gondor , with this change concluding his character arc. The Lord of the Rings movies explore the story of the former king of Gondor Isildur early in the trilogy, with this setting the stage for why Aaragorn's time as king is so important.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will pull off a similar trick to Isildur's story, except this time for a different character: Helm Hammerhand. Helm Hammerhand is the main character of The War of the Rohirrim , with him being the king of Rohan at the time of the story. This will parallel Théoden's story in the main The Lord of the Rings trilogy, showing what the position was like before he took the throne.

Lord Of The Rings' New Movie Will Bring Théoden Closer To Tolkien's Books

On top of recontextualizing Théoden's story, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will also do a major service to the franchise by bringing him closer to Tolkien's books. During his time in the live-action movies, Théoden is under the control of one of The Lord of the Rings ' most powerful magic users , Wormtongue. Because of this, Théoden wasn't shown to his full potential as he was in Tolkien's books.

In the books, Théoden is much more regal than he is presented as in the movies. While he probably won't appear in The War of the Rohirrim due to its setting , it will explore the ancestry of the king of Rohan. This means that his backstory can be expanded on even further, bringing him closer to his original vision in The Lord of the Rings .

The Lord of The Rings: The War of The Rohirrim

Set before the events of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is an animated action-adventure fantasy film that follows a King of Rohan named Helm Hammerhand. When his home comes under siege by Dunlendings, Hammerhand prepares himself and his allies to fight back against them, with the war leading to the eventual establishment of Helm's Deep.

Release Date 2024-12-13

Director Kenji Kamiyama

Cast Gaia Wise, Laurence Ubong, Shaun Dooley, Miranda Otto, Luke Pasqualino, Brian Cox

Rating Not Yet Rated

Genres Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Story By Jeffrey Addiss, Will Matthews, J. R. R. Tolkien

Studio(s) Sola Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, New Line Cinema

Distributor(s) Warner Bros. Pictures

Sequel(s) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Franchise(s) The Lord of the Rings

2024's Lord Of The Rings Movie Will Change How You See This Tolkien Character


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  1. Witch-king of Angmar

    Biographical information Other names The Black Captain, Captain of Despair, Lord of Carrion, Dwimmerlaik, King of the Nine Riders, Morgul-lord Titles Lord of the Nazgûl, Lord of Minas Morgul, King of Angmar Birth Before SA 2251 Rule TA 1300 — 1975 Death March 15, TA 3019 Pelennor Fields Age 4,209+ Realms Angmar, Minas Morgul Weapon

  2. Wraiths

    A wraith is someone who has been killed yet lives on by some dark sorcery (necromancy or a Morgul-blade), or someone who died in darkness or serious dishonour (the latter are comparable to popular culture's notion of ghosts). During the First Age, the love-sick Gorlim, having betrayed his...

  3. Witch-king of Angmar

    The Lord of the Nazgûl, also called the Witch-king of Angmar, the Pale King, and the Black Captain, is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien 's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. He had once been the King of Angmar in the north of Eriador.

  4. The Ringwraiths From The Lord Of The Rings Explained

    Movies The Ringwraiths From The Lord Of The Rings Explained By Jaron Pak / Sept. 30, 2020 6:55 pm EST Middle-earth has its fair share of heroes and villains. Epic warriors like Gandalf, Aragorn,...

  5. Nazgûl

    The Nazgûl (from Black Speech nazg, "ring", and gûl, "wraith, spirit"), introduced as Black Riders and also called Ringwraiths, Dark Riders, the Nine Riders, or simply the Nine, are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien 's Middle-earth.

  6. Nazgûl

    The Nazgûl ( Black Speech for " Ringwraiths ") or Úlairi ( Quenya [2] ), also known as the Black Riders or simply The Nine, were the dreaded ring-servants of the Dark Lord Sauron in Middle-earth throughout the Second and Third Ages, who in the later years of the Third Age dwelt in Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur. [3] Contents 1 History

  7. The Nazgûl: Who Were They & What Were Their Names?

    The Nazgûl, also known as the Ringwraiths, are a group of nine ring-servants of Sauron, the second Dark Lord. The Nazgûl were actually the great warriors and leaders of Men who received nine Rings of Power from Sauron. The nine canonical Nazgûl were not named, at least not all of them Who were the Nazgûl?

  8. Nazgûl

    The Nazgûl ( Black Speech: Ringwraiths, sometimes written Ring-wraiths ), also known as the Nine Riders or Black Riders (or simply the Nine ), were Sauron 's "most terrible servants" in Middle-earth. They were mortal Men who had been turned into wraiths by their Nine Rings of power. Contents 1 History 1.1 Origins 1.2 Third Age 1.3 War of the Ring

  9. Witch-king

    The King of Nazgûl by Catherine Chmiel Some time after Sauron seized the Rings of Power in the Sack of Eregion, S.A. 1697 he gave nine of them to Mannish kings, sorcerers and other warriors. [1]

  10. Witch-king of Angmar

    The Witch-king of Angmar was once known to be a king of Men and was thought to be Númenórean. Legend says that he was one of the kings who received one of the nine Rings of Power. Once he wore the Ring of Power, it corrupted him and turned him into a wraith that served Sauron. It was said in a prophecy that no living man could kill him.

  11. the lord of the rings

    In addition to Lee and Howe (who, being relatively famous in the Tolkien community, dominate the conversation), all I've been able to find is that Brent McIntyre, who is credited with the role of the Witch-king, almost certainly played him in the prologue. Here's McIntyre: Here's the Witch-king in Wraith-form makeup (signed by McIntyre, no less):

  12. Lord Of The Rings: 20 Crazy Details About Witch-King's Anatomy

    Published Nov 4, 2018. The Lord of the Rings' Witch-king, leader of the Nazgul and Sauron's second-in-command, has a number of abilities that are magical and mysterious. Sauron may be the primary antagonist throughout The Lord of the Rings, but without a physical form, he relied solely on a number of lieutenants to carry out his wishes.

  13. Wraiths

    Wraiths was a name for people having been transformed into undead beings. [1] The realm of the wraiths was called the Wraith-world. [2] Contents 1 History 2 Etymology 3 Other versions of the legendarium 4 Inspiration 5 Portrayal in adaptations 6 References History edit In the Elder Days, the wraith of Gorlim appeared in a dream of Beren. [3]

  14. What The Flying Ringwraith Beasts In Lord Of The Rings Actually Are

    What "Nazgul" Means In Lord Of The Rings. The Nazgul, also known as the Ringwraiths, the Black Riders, or the Nine, were once mighty human kings who fell into darkness through the corrupting influence of the secret One Ring bestowed upon them by Sauron. The Nazgul's arsenal includes daggers and swords but extends beyond physical weapons.

  15. The Nazgûl Before The Lord of the Rings, Explained

    Tolkien provided scant details about the other seven Nazgûl in The Lord of the Rings.In the chapter "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" from The Return of the King, Tolkien briefly mentioned "Gothmog the lieutenant of Morgul."Jackson's films depicted Gothmog as an Orc, but in the novel, his race was never stated.This, combined with his high position of power and seemingly non-Orcish name, led ...

  16. Khamûl

    Biographical information Other names Shadow of the East, The Black Easterling, Khamûl the Easterling Titles Lord of the Nazgûl, Lord of Rhûn Birth Second Age Death TA 3019 Realms Rhûn, Dol Guldur (under overlordship of Sauron) Weapon Sword, Morgul-blade Physical description Race Men (originally) Gender Male Culture

  17. 9 Facts About Tolkien's Nines

    9 Facts About Tolkien's Nines. Nine facts about the Nine Nazgûl: The Quenya word for Nazgûl is Úlairi. Their leader is known as The Witch-King of Angmar. The only one of the Nazgûl whose name ...

  18. Magic: The Gathering's Lord of the Rings set has nine different Nazgûl

    The Witch-king of Angmar card gains Flying as a keyword and increases the Ringwraith leader's power to five and toughness to three, compared to the 1/2 values of a standard Nazgûl. The Witch-king can also be granted Indestructible until the end of the turn by discarding a card and tapping the creature.

  19. Lord of the Rings: Why Éowyn Was Able To Kill The Witch-king

    Updated Nov 6, 2022 In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Éowyn takes down the Witch-king of Angmar, but there's more to this feat than being a woman.

  20. MTG Wraith Noble commands Nazgûl in Lord of the Rings

    The Wraith creature type in Magic: The Gathering has a new Mythic Rare Mono-Black commander through the Witch-king of Angmar, a Wraith noble with Flying and Indestructible from The Lord of the ...

  21. Nazgul Costume Guide: Create Your Own Ringwraith Look

    For enthusiasts of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary saga, "The Lord of the Rings," the shadowy and enigmatic Nazgul present a unique and spine-chilling costume choice. Known also as Ringwraiths, Úlairi, Black Riders, or The Nine, these characters are the epitome of haunting elegance and dark allure.

  22. The Lord of the Rings

    The screech from the Witch King of Angmar

  23. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth: Ringwraiths

    Sell your Ringwraiths Switch to Foil Other Versions Show All Versions Customers who purchased The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth: Ringwraiths also bought... $9.99 Nazgul (0100) The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth $9.99 Nazgul (0335) The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth $9.99 Nazgul (0333)

  24. 2024's Lord Of The Rings Movie Will Change How You See This ...

    "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim" is an exciting animated film that delves into the backstory of Helm Hammerhand, the king of Rohan, bringing him closer to Tolkien's original vision.